California In Crisis – Hatami your Pushes to Restore Public Safety After DA Gascon’s Three-Year Reign of Terror

On December 15th, 2020, Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami made one of the boldest moves of his career, he came out publicly out against his boss, newly elected District Attorney, George Gascon.

Instead of celebrating a milestone birthday on that day (his 50th), Hatami went in front of news cameras in the name of upholding the law and protecting the citizens of L.A. County.

At the time, Hatami was a 15-year veteran prosecutor known for pursuing the maximum penalty for child abusers and killers, including in the high-profile Gabriel Fernandez case, which became a
Netflix documentary.


George Gascon abruptly left his position as San Francisco District Attorney before his term was up to run for office in Los Angeles – but not without prompting Mayor London Breed to issue a stern warning in the form of an OP-ED written for the Los Angeles Sentinel, cautioning Los Angeles County voters of the dangers that lie ahead should Gascon win the election.

“Like countless others who have witnessed Gascon’s brand of “leadership” up close, I have opposed his candidacy from the start, and for very simple reasons: Gascon was bad for San Francisco, and he would be bad for L.A.”

Unfortunately, the Breed’s warning fell on deaf ears as voters were still feeling the physical and financial toll of the pandemic and the aftermath of the riots as a result of George Floyd’s death.

Despite leaving chaos and destruction in virtually every city he served, Gascon was somehow successful manipulating a large (enough) contingency of voters to beat the first female African-American D.A. and incumbent, Jackie Lacey.

Gascon was sworn in on December 7th, 2020 and as predicted by S.F. Mayor Breed, Gascon delivered his “brand of leadership” in the form of damaging directives that ultimately sent L.A. County public safety into a unprecedented downward spiral.

Among the immediate changes were eliminating cash bail, the death penalty and sentence enhancements.

Hatami, a champion for victims and their families throughout his career, immediately reacted to the new directives meant to benefit criminals and handicap prosecutors and further traumatize victims of violent crime.

“I just don’t understand why we are not trying to prosecute child murderers to the fullest extent of the law… Hatami, filled with emotion, told told ABC 7. “Unless they run me out of here or take away all my cases, I’m not going anywhere. And I going to fight for all the kids.”

Shortly after Hatami’s whistleblowing made the news, Gascon issued a public statement admonishing Hatami for exposing the critical flaws in his directives and ignoring the law which he swore to uphold.

“It seems like Mr. Hatami has made a profound discovery rather late in his career. Like any other workplace, if you don’t do what your boss tells you to do, you may be disciplined.”

As a result of speaking up, Hatami endured significant workplace harassment and retaliation – and Gascon didn’t stop there.

He and his communications director Max Szabo issued multiple, public defamatory statements clearly intended to destroy Hatami’s integrity – and ultimately, his career.

“Some people will be unhappy and … either become internal terrorists or they’ll leave. And I know certainly how to deal with both.” Gascon said during an interview. The racially motivated (he is part Iranian and his father is Muslim) and seemingly veiled threat directed at Hatami, was given to a news outlet according to court documents.

As a result of the high-profile battle, Hatami received hundreds of letters of support, including one from his former boss, DA Jackie Lacey.

Internal grievances against Szabo followed with a lawsuit filed September 3rd, 2021, which is still in litigation.

There have since been more than two dozen Deputy District Attorneys that have filed suit against the county and Gasconfor workplace retaliation and harassment.


Hatami is no stranger to abusive behavior. As a child, he suffered abuse as a child at the hands of his father which led to a fear of being a parent himself because of the complexities resulting from the abuse of a loved one.

Thankfully, Hatami worked through his fears and is now a devoted husband to his wife of 13 years, Roxanne, a domestic violence detective with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deaprtment.They have two children, a son Jon Jr. and a daughter, Lindsey whom they are raising in Santa Clarita.

Ultimately, Hatami channeled his childhood trauma into successfully fighting for justice for abused children.

Hatami joined the District Attorney’s office in 2006 after practicing as a civil attorney for three years.

Ten years later, in 2016, he transferred to the Complex Child Abuse Unit of the Family Violence Division in the District Attorney’s office in Downtown
Los Angeles, where he would ultimately make is mark as child abuse prosecutor and begin his own personal healing journey seeking justice for young victims of abuse and their surviving love ones.

One particular case Hatami was assigned to, the murder of Gabriel Fernandez, brought him
face to face with his own childhood demons and created a significant strain on his marriage because of the brutal details in the case that understandably, given his own childhood abuse, triggered
him at the time.

In September 2017, Pearl Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre stood trial for Gabriel’s murder. Hatami and Deputy District Attorney Scott Yang lead the prosecution.

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Aguirre was found guilty of first-degree murder with a special circumstance of torture and was sentenced to death on November 14, 2017.

In order to avoid the death penalty, Pearl Fernandez pleaded guilty to all charges and allegations, agreeing to waive all her appellate rights, in exchange for a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

In April 2021, just months after George Gascon issued his pro-criminal directives eliminating the death penalty and enhancements, Pearl Fernandez applied to be re-sentenced under California Penal Code Section 1170.95. Pearl Fernandez’s petition was denied by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli in June 2021.

A few weeks after the Fernandez trial concluded, Hatami received a phone call from an Antelope Valley nurse telling him the same thing that happened to Gabriel, happened to another boy.

10-year-old Anthony Avalos was found dead in the home of his mother, Heather Barron, and her live-in boyfriend, Kareem Leiva. Both Barron and Leiva were arrested and charged in the child’s torture and murder.

Anthony’s trial began in January 2023. On March 7, 2023, Heather Barron and Kareem Leiva were found guilty of the torture and murder of Anthony Avalos. Barron and Leiva were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on April 25, 2023. Originally, this was a death penalty case, however, Governor Gavin Newsom had implemented a moratorium on capital punishment and District Attorney George Gascón has issued a directive for prosecutors not to seek it. Essentially, Hatami’s hands were tied, unable to pursue the maximum punishment allowed by law.

From the moment Gascon issued his criminal sympathyzing directives, Hatami was courageously front and center for the citizens – and now he has taken the battle a step further by running for District Attorney of Los Angeles County.

Hatami announced his candidacy in March of 2023 criticizing Gascón for his policies, stating that “in the midst of our public safety crisis, I’ve seen the failures of our elected leaders who promised to do better but only end up making things worse.”

Hatami is committed to restoring faith in the office, fighting for the rights of victims and their families and making public safety a priority again – not a safe haven for murderers, thieves and abusers as we have experienced under Gascon.

“Justice is not a one-size-fits-all approach and the wholesale non-prosecution of certain crimes and enhancements has only made us less safe. You cannot fix past societal injustices by punishing current victims. We all want to address the over incarceration of low-income people and communities of color but not charging crimes, ignoring violence, refusing to provide basic public safety, and allowing
criminals to go free only to commit more crimes and victimize others is not the answer. That is the
definition of injustice.”, Jonathan Hatami told the Los Angeles Daily News.

Those who are invested in this critical race for the future safety of this once great city and county are subscribing to his message.

Hatami as secured the most endorsements of all 12 candidates combined with heavy support from law enforcement agencies and many city and county officials of whom were among the 35 cities that participated in the “No Confidence” against George Gascon and his policies.

While many voters were still undecided at the end of January, the only independent poll in the race and overwhelming public sentiment prove Hatami is witout question, Gascon’s top contender – and the best candidate to reinstate faith in the office of District Attorney.

After a toxic three-year downward spiral in public safety under DA Gascon, the only way up is to welcome Hatami’s leadership with open arms.

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